This post is a re-post from a blog written in January 2012 to document my 30 days of hot yoga. I was recently inspired to be more self-reflective after an entire season of illness (read more here and here). Doctor’s orders were simple: start taking care of yourself (again) or you’ll need surgery. Well, that’s all I needed to propel me into living a healthier, more personally sustainable life amidst balancing a busy career, volunteering, and a small baby.
Join me here, on Sundays, where I re-blog reflections from 30 days of hot yoga and hopefully inspire you to embrace change positively with passion and find opportunities for personal growth wherever you can find it.
The idea for this month of bliss has been in my mind for a while. I belong to two hot yoga studios in Cambridge. Each has its strengths: one smells really nice and has 60-minute sessions that are both refreshing and validating because I can keep up, do all the moves, and tend to set the pace in class and the other is significantly harder, kicks my butt every time, and the instruction is outstanding. Both clubs like to kick off the year by inspiring members to purchase a monthly pass and commit to attending at least one class a day for an entire month.
In the past when my instructors would plug this ridiculous idea, I would think to myself – ‘good for them, but there is absolutely no way I would ever do that’ and, again to myself, I would judge them as being obsessive, boring, half-crazy people who obviously had nothing better to do. I have a lot of good friends. I have a life. And I have, in the past, had zero interest in giving up an entire month to long, hard, yoga sessions which leave me exhausted (and thus bitchy).
But this year is different. This month is not just the beginning of 2012, it’s also the beginning of a time in my life which I have dreaded since I knew what it was to age, set goals for myself, and to work towards a “higher calling” (i.e. uncompromising, unforgiving, gross achievement). I can earnestly say that from the time I was a preteen I had expectations for who I would be and what I would become. I would work towards being the best person I could be, overachieve whenever possible, and continue to push boundaries and do something incredible. And I would dedicate the first half of my life to seeing this goal through.
January 7, 2012 would be my day of judgement. What I have achieved by that day would solely determine my self-worth. If I was proud of where I was, it would be because I was obviously an awesome person and deserved lots of praise. If not, it was because I sucked at life and should find a small, remote hole to crawl in and give up. My backup plan was to become a hermit.
Thankfully my adult self knows better (sort of). My visions of grandeur have been adjusted and I have a more holistic and realistic view of what it means to be “successful” (more on success later). Anyone who knows me will tell you that I have so many things to be grateful for. In 2011 alone, Chris and I were engaged and married, my family was happier and healthier than they have been in a long time, and, thanks to an internal transfer, I got a great job with a promising career.
But despite all of these wonderful things, I can’t mute the whispers of my 13-year-old self reminding me of the impending judgement on the horizon and all that comes with identifying myself as THIRTY (more on that later). To silence the judgement, reflect, and grow through a remarkable challenge, I have decided to take on the hot yoga 30/30 and blog about it. I’m not sure if I can actually do it, or even if I really want to, but for now I have started this blog and made a personal commitment to seeing this thing through as far as I can take it.
Over the course of the next month, I’ll talk more about WHY I chose to do this, reflect on what it means to be 30, and offer some insight into the personal, spiritual, and physical transformations which occur when you throw yourself into 30 days of 75+-minute 100-degree yoga sessions that produce sweat puddles, horrifying smells, and bring out pretty much every emotion you can experience. I’ll try to keep the posts short and digestible and keep content relative to what others are experiencing as well. And, by the end, I hope to at least offer others whatever benefits may come out of throwing yourself into something new and seeing where you end up.